Ten Reasons I'm Supporting Ryan Meili – #7 – He's My Age

I don't know the exact moment when it happened – I know it was somewhere between my 10 year high school reunion (when I was 27) and now (I'm 35).  But I started looking around and seeing that my former classmates – both from high school and University – have moved into some pretty prominent roles in society. 

Of the 44 people I graduated with in my small Saskatchewan town, there are now engineers, nurses, college professors, teachers, scientists, small business people, computer programmers, magazine editors, geologists and more.  One of my best friends from high school is now a psychiatrist (and was the person who gave me the first thumbs up about Ryan when I was debating getting involved with the campaign.  They had gone to medical school at roughly the same time – I think my friend was a couple years ahead of Ryan – and he said Ryan was a really good guy, outlining some of the amazing things he'd done.)

So when I decided to get involved with Ryan's campaign, the fact that he was my age was a big factor in my decision to support him.  It's no small thing that for the first time in my life, I'd be voting for a leader who was more like me than my dad in terms of shared cultural experiences and worldview. 

I can't find the blog comment where I read it but on the other hand, if he were to win, Dwain Lingenfelter would be the oldest leader ever elected by the CCF/NDP.  He's 60 now, he'd be 62 for the next election (closer to 63 actually) and, should the NDP not prevail (which is a distinct possibility with how popular the Sask Party is these days), he'd be 66 going on 67 when the next election rolls around.  (In fact, no matter who wins, the NDP will either elect the oldest leader in party history in Link or Deb or the youngest in either Ryan or Yens.)  It's funny to hear Dwain Lingenfelter speak of being a candidate of change and renewal when he's currently four years OLDER than the person he'd be replacing

By way of comparison, MJ Coldwell was 43 when he became leader, GH Williams was 40, Tommy Douglas was 37, WS Lloyd was 48, Allan Blakeney was 45, Roy Romanow was 48 as was Lorne Calvert. 

Ryan will be 36 by the time of the next election and it's a meaningless coincidence but out of all the names on that list, I think it's appropriate that Ryan would be closest in age to Tommy Douglas. 

A lot of people see his age as a negative but in my view, it's a huge advantage – Ryan hasn't had long years in the Legislature to have the idealism drained out of him.  He's not experienced enough to “know” something can't be done like you sometimes hear people say after they've been in a job for awhile.  He has the energy and youth to be leader for a long time – as if often the case with NDP leaders (there have been what, 7 leaders in 50+ years?)

Even if his inexperience is a weakness as some people think (and I'm not willing to concede that), when you look at who's endorsing him, he'll have no shortage of experienced political veterans around him.  And with how he's run his campaign in such a positive manner, I have little doubt that most people – MLA's and others – who are currently supporting other candidates would line up behind him. 

I'm fairly certain the same can't be said for Dwain Lingenfelter. 

Next: #6 – His Use of Technology

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  1. From Head Tale - Ten Reasons I’m Supporting @ryanmeili for #skndpldr (Recapping My 2009 List) on 16 Jan 2013 at 10:20 pm

    […] soft-spoken 9. He’s got very little baggage 8. He’s run a positive campaign 7. He’s my age 6. His innovative use of technology 5. He gets things done 4. His openness 3. His commitment to […]

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